17.5 Open Workout Tips From Talayna Fortunato

17.5 Open Workout Tips From Talayna Fortunato 0


I didn't make the above banner... but I had to laugh when I saw it because it's just about how I feel about this workout.  Or almost any workout without gymnastics in it, but we're all doing it so let's talk about how! 

If you can handle the weight well and you're proficient at double-unders this workout is all about engine.  Very similar to 14.1 (which was 11.1 ;)  Not many people will plow through this thing without breaks.  I want your methodology for this one to be, YOU DECIDE WHEN TO BREAK... DON'T LET THE WORKOUT DECIDE FOR YOU.

That said, this will also be about listening to your body and having a plan B if you start to redline.  You will want to stay below your aerobic threshold.  If you start to feel no difference between a 5 sec. break and a 30 sec. break, it's too late!  You don't want to get to that point until the last round or two.  The below graph shows every time you go over aerobic threshold how long it takes you to recover again.  The farther you go over it, the farther the graph will dip down below too. 

Ideas for breaking by athlete type
  • Only stronger athletes (meaning unbroken thrusters on Fran) with a good engine can try going unbroken on the thrusters.  Try taking rest on the transitions to bring your breathing rate back down.
  • Athletes with a good engine that the weight might get heavy for, should consider breaking the thrusters before they start effecting their double-unders.  Start with 5/4, if that's getting too hard go to 3/3/3, but try to be disciplined on your breaks.   
  • Athletes who feel that both movements will affect them should pace the thrusters with planned rests from the beginning.  As for double-unders...


  • If you're very proficient at double-unders you can plan your breaks (not let the workout plan them for you) with something like 25/10.  If you tend to trip often on double-unders anyway, I would use those trips as your built in rest.  
  • Only athletes who are exceptional at double-unders should try to do them all unbroken.  Even Sara ran out of them at the end of this one. 
  • If you are very improficient (that's a word right?) at double-unders then wear pants and a shirt.  Just trust me on this one...

  • If you're having a hard time deciding to break double-unders or thrusters more consider this: when you break a thruster, you have to pick the bar back up and that's a lot of time.  When you break a double-under, you don't have to put the rope down and it's quicker.
  •  If you have a Momentum Speed Rope, they're great because they're smooth, fast and come in three different handle sizes. If not, use a rope you're comfortable with. Don't try a new one.
  • 350 is a lot of jumping... warm up your calves and ankles well!!!
  • Try to keep your shoulders relaxed and think about spinning the rope from the wrists and a flick of the elbow.  
  • Keep your feet closer together to avoid tripping. 
  • The best way to tie your rope in a knot is to throw it down after each round.  It's the same science as putting headphones in your pocket!  Place the rope down NEATLY and EXACTLY the same EVERY ROUND.  Here is a chart to identify your rope if you don't...


  • Slow is smooth and smooth is fast!  You don't want to sprint them.
  • Let yourself start descending into the squat as the bar is coming to your shoulders and use the momentum from your hips to propel the bar back over head.  The opposite of this would be front squat stop + strict press stop every rep and way more taxing! 
  • Weightlifting shoes would be easier for the thrusters, but there are WAY more double-unders and since the thrusters are light I would definitely not recommend them.
  • If you take a brief pause between reps, pause with the bar overhead, not in the front rack.  It's much easier to breath with the bar overhead. 

Really make sure you are good and warmed up for this one.  Hit some higher intensity (90%) and short duration (10-20sec.) sprints on the bike with full recovery (1-2min.) and get your body processing lactic acid before you start.  Also, I wouldn't recommend eating a large meal very close beforehand!  That food is going to be bouncing around a lot!  

If you know who this clown is, congratulations, you're a CrossFit veteran!  I myself have never met Pukie the Clown during a workout yet and I don't want to on this one.  He would definitely kill my time! 

Finally, plan something good to reward yourself with when you're done.  You just completed the hardest CrossFit Games Open season to date!  That, in and of itself, is a great accomplishment.  Sorry we don't have thousands of participation medals for everyone, but the satisfaction of doing it is what we love anyway or we wouldn't be here.

 Now go get 'em guys and enjoy your weekend! 

  • Talayna Fortunato
17.4 Open Workout Tips from Talayna Fortunato

17.4 Open Workout Tips from Talayna Fortunato 0

So we're getting close to the end of the Open now and we knew there has to be a repeat workout and a chipper coming at some point. Well, here they both are! Remember these girls (Wells and Castro) did it at altitude too! I got to do that once in 2013 and it was terrible! This workout is somewhat like chippers in past years that ended in muscle-ups in that there's a lot of work on the front end but the crux, aka what really matters, is the gymnastics at the end. 

First of all, if you did this workout last year, go look at your score.  If you have a video of it, watch it.  If you wrote anything about it, go read it.  If not, just try to remember what your strategy was.  If that strategy was good then try to improve upon it!  If there was a point where your strategy went off the rails, then modify to fix that part. 

No one is going to need to break the row, and even though most people will break the deadlifts and wall balls, not many will burn out on them to the point where they're in any danger of failing a rep. The Handstand Push-Ups, on the other hand, can get to small sets and even singles very quickly, making them the separator.  This may lead to a few wall staring contests!

Thoughts on each movement:


  • Warm up the posterior chain well. 
  • The first rep is always the hardest, so while breaks aren't a bad thing, a bunch of 2's and 3's aren't a good idea. This doesn't mean do a set of 20, then all 4's either. Be smart and honest about your capabilities. 
  • Stay tight on the descent and use the energy of the ground and your stretch reflex to help you back up. 
  • Use a mixed grip if you don't already. 
  • Think about using a quick release belt on this one so you can rip it off before heading to the wall balls. This Setwear Belt has a boa dial quick release.

Wall Balls

  • You'll probably think you're going to feel like a baby deer here and fail a wall ball, but the muscle groups go from a pull to a push, so don't take too long.  Just pick it up and go; you'll be surprised after a couple of reps how you settle in. 
  • Again, larger sets (i.e. >5) are best, but if you know you're going to end up with sets of 10 or less than it's best to start with them and take very short breaks. 
  • Stand far enough from the wall that you aren't getting hit with the ball or air balling. 
  • If you have any doubt on the perfect way to hold the ball at the bottom... here ya go!


  • Not a lot to say here. It's more of your recovery period but you still want to get thru it in a reasonable time so no sandbagging! 
  • Set the damper slightly lower than when you're rowing for meters. The fly wheel will spin easier and get more calories between strokes. (I think it's science or something).

Handstand Push-Ups

  • Get straight to the wall and start! This workout goes pull, push, pull, push. You may be tired, but not in the muscle group that's coming next, so you should be able to start right into the reps even if you don't think so at first. 
  • Once your first set starts to slow, it's time to come down. No going to failure! The sets should be speedy with slight breaks. No resting in a handstand - that's wasted energy. 
  • Kip! If you don't know how, learn! If you do know, how be sure to use your hips. This means no short kipping with just a knee bend. Let your hips curl off the wall so your low back touches and you have a better loading mechanism to explode up with.
  • If you're having trouble getting above the line, bring your hands in, and try to extend taller. Not arching the back or letting your butt hit the wall at the top of the handstand will help too.  

You should really only need a quick release belt for this workout. Maybe Goat Tape on your thumbs and the wall, and ok the floor too!  Make sure you understand where to place the tape lines this year.  I think this WOD will be climatic one at the end.  Get ready to cheer on Handstand Push-Ups and after this, we only have one more workout to celebrate all this fitness during the 2017 Open, so embrace your opportunity.  Some would love to have it! 

  • Talayna Fortunato
17.3 Open Workout Tips from Talayna Fortunato

17.3 Open Workout Tips from Talayna Fortunato 0


I would like to rename this workout "The sexiest open workout Dave Castro has ever written."  The only reason it's not the sexiest workout he's ever written is because it's just too long and too difficult to remember!  It had to be this way though, to ensure that everyone got to play and in this one, they definitely do.  Let's talk now about how to approach this one!

This workout will be very person-dependent upon your gymnastics vs. weightlifting strength and which movement will be the crux to you.  First, I'm going to ask you to take a look at the size of your snatch (yes, I know it's a double entendre when I say things like that - it's on purpose.)  I mean, what is your recent heaviest snatch?  Now, consider you will be under some fatigue, but also have adrenaline.  It's possible you could PR here, but be realistic.  I'll use myself as an example.  My current recent heaviest snatch is right around the second to last bar, which is 175.  If all goes REALLY well, I hope to get that 6 times! With the last bar being 185, I will be about where Cole Sager was; gunning for it on a good day, but not banking on it!  Next, you're going to evaluate how good you are at chest-to-bar pull-ups, and we'll decide a strategy for them in a minute.

Set Up

  • Finally a workout you can wear your sexy lifting shoes that you got for Christmas! 
  • Place the bar the shortest safe distance to the rig that you can.  I would have the bars parallel to one another in case your barbell bounces laterally, you won't have to move it before you lift. 
  • Put an easily accessible block of chalk near your pull-up bar.  90+% chance you're going to use it on this one. 
  • Find a white board, a clip board, or write on the floor, but put the rep scheme where it is visible to you.  This workout will be easy to get confused on and you don't want to start doing too many reps or have to stop and ask for directions.
  • Consider wearing a LOT of kinesio tape on your back like Scott Panchik did.  I don't know why, but he did very well on 17.3, so at least consider it for your redo! 


  • Whether you're good at chest-to-bar pull-ups or just able to get by, the name of the game on this will be to do them with enough gas so you don't have to recover for long periods before the snatches.  There will be very few people that start no-repping chest-to-bars and get time capped because of that.  Most everyone will be time capped because of the snatches.  
  • That said, you'll definitely want to gather yourself and take a breather before addressing the bar to lift, but you don't want to come off your pull-ups anywhere near redlining and take a minute to recover. 
  • To do this, you're going to have to break the pull-ups into doable chunks, where no rep becomes a struggle.  I would even encourage you to consider moving through with singles and doubles where you keep getting down and right back up again, rather than sets of 5 or more with long breaks in the later rounds. 
  • If you're coming up on a snatch weight that you know is near or at your max, break the pull-ups even more beforehand!
  • Same mindset goes for the snatches.  You can push your breathing rate up, but don't let any rep become a struggle until the very end.  They should be clean and smooth, like any good... never mind.  If you're trucking along at a weight and then you start to have a hard time standing them up, you're going too fast.  
  • A missed snatch will cost you :10 - :20 seconds and it will also tax your system a lot more too.  


  • I'll leave it up to you, but if you don't plan on making it deep into the snatch, (this is too easy) i.e. at least the second to last bar, I would consider starting off with singles on the first bar.  Definitely go to singles by the second bar.  Even Matt Fraser did that!
  • Hook grip!  If you don't know how, now is a great time to learn!  It will help immensely since every movement of this workout involves grip.  If you are learning, tape your thumbs! Goat Tape is great for this.
  • Focus on keeping the bar close to your body on the way up, it will be easier to catch it more consistently and more efficiently.
  • As the weight gets heavier, make sure you are moving your feet out to jump into your squat.  This will ensure you finish your pull and get better height with the bar.
  • Assign a trustworthy person with good math skills to change your weights for you. Be a courteous athlete and stack the plates on the sides of the bar in the reverse order that they're going on. Don't ask your judge to do it, they will be busy doing what judges do... counting how awesome you are!

  • If you need a belt in the later rounds, put it between the rig and your bar so you don't have to go wandering around to get it. If you aren't sure whether you'll need a belt,  put it there anyway.  

Chest-to-Bar Pull-Ups

  • Use hand protection or tape your hands! I learned this last week the hard way.  Yes, I've learned this lesson before the hard way, but it had been so long since I've ripped, apparently, I needed to learn it again! It's been 4 days and my hands are healing now, but I'm definitely going to give them until Sunday for this workout.  It was a bloody mess I tell you, with no one to blame but myself! Just FYI, Grips and Hand Care are on sale right now through March 12.

Not bad for 4 days huh?!  Keep them covered and keep them moist, that's the secret!(you're welcome)  This stuff doesn't hurt either...

  • If you do rip and bleed everywhere, don't clean everything up except for your bloody block of chalk for the classes to find Monday morning.  Yes I did that, eeeek I'm sorry! 
  • Do not death grip the bar.  Relax your grip during the weightless portion of the pull-up. 
  • Thumbs around for safety and they increase your grip endurance.
  • Pre-chalk and/or pre-tape your bar.  Again, I didn't tell you to tape the bar. If your coach gets mad, make sure you take it down asap!
  • If you're planning to do small chunks (singles and doubles) on these, make sure you choose a bar you don't have to jump far to get to. 

Redos on this one will be dependent upon how far you get.  If you get very far you will be doing over 100 chest-to-bar pull-ups, and you should consider a one-and-done on this.  It will be hard to prime your system to repeat and improve after that many pulling reps and that much weight.  If you aren't getting far into the workout, then it will be very repeatable.  I, myself, like to go as hard as I can at these suckers one time only!  Then, I go have a good cheat meal and try not to obsessively look at the leaderboard!  

This should be another fun one to cheer people through too.  And perhaps the best part of the whole thing... NO DUMBBELLS!  Let's hope they don't make a reappearance the final weeks, shall we?  Good luck guys and pray for my hands... and my snatch! ;)


17.2 Open Workout Tips from Talayna Fortunato

17.2 Open Workout Tips from Talayna Fortunato 3


Ok so we know 17.2, but my ? is what in the heck does a Koi fish have to do with this WOD?

The only thing I can think of, is this workout is obviously about grip and by the end of it, you will feel like you have fins like this guy and not hands, just staring up at the bar with your mouth open?!  I'm gonna go with that!  Now on to some strategy!


This is the first open workout we've seen in a while where you have to clearly break way before you're capacity from the start.  Even the little 5'2" girls during the announcement broke early and said they should have broken it up even more.  Let's start at the beginning though...


Dumbbell Lunges 

  • Time under tension is what you want to consider here, so try and make them quick and controlled.
  • It helped me on 16.1 with the lunges to try and lunge 8 steps every time.  It gave my mind something to focus on, and it kept me from fumbling around and taking an extra half step on some rounds.  Find your correct step length and try to stick to it.  
  • Put the dumbbells down briefly on the turn around.  Shake out the forearms, grab them again and go back. 
  • You have to keep your hands on the handles the whole time, but the more you can unload the dumbbells on your shoulders, the better!  This will also be dependent upon the dumbbells you have and your anatomy, but play around with quick transitioning from the clean to having them upright on your shoulders or with one head of the dumbbell resting on your back and see which one you like.  Just try not to Vulcan death grip them.



  • If this is a light weight for you, try and go 7, set them down to shake your grip, then one more and start lunging.  If it's heavy, then break it up more, ex. 4/3/1 or 3/2/2/1.  Just don't do 8 and then set them down, you've got to pick them up again anyway! 
  • Muscle cleans are faster, but more taxing on your arms.  Try to engage the hips and legs to help you and dip on the catch, if you need to.  Your legs and glutes will be far less taxed than your arms, assuming you didn't do 17.1 four times!
  • If you can hook grip the dumbbell go for it!  That's a little less work for the forearms. 

Toes to Bar

  • The name of the game here is break early and break often!  How early?  Earlier than you think you need to!  Here's a guide, Sam Briggs: 16, Regionals athletes: 8/8, the gymnast dude in your 5:30pm class: 6/5/5, a person with a max set of 10: 4/4/4/4, and everyone else: triples, doubles, and singles.  You're going to need your grip for the bar muscle ups!
  • Don't Vulcan death grip the bar either.  Let tension off just a little until you become weighted at the bottom of the swing again. 
  • It will also help preserve your grip if you can put your thumb around the bar.
  • I realize many will be doing the scaled options, but the premise is the same for partitioning the reps.

Bar Muscle-Ups

  • If you've never done a bar muscle-up before, but you're going to get one today, you better pace the first part of the workout quite a bit more.  You want to get to this part fresh enough for a PR! 
  • If you have bar muscle-ups, I can give you a fancy rep scheme or some scientific break down, but by the time you get here, you're probably going to have to go by feel.  Just don't start with too large of a set! 
  • Meaning, as soon as you struggle on a muscle-up, unless there are only 10 seconds left on the clock, get down.  A struggled rep is way more fatiguing than a smooth one, and a failed rep takes even longer to recover from. 
  • If you are stringing them together, take a pause at the top of the rep to breathe and relax your arms for a second.  Then go into the next one.  
  • Again placing your thumb around the bar will be less taxing on your grip and safer!

I just love these guys!  All of their muscle-ups would be no reps though, you're only allowed to use your hands to help you up!  No glide kips, either this year, guys. 


Low Hanging Fruit

  • Put a block of chalk right by where you'll be standing at the rig for easy access.
  • If you've tried it before and it helps, tape the bar!  Just don't tell your gym owner I was the one who told you to do it, and take it down as soon as you're done! 
  • Consider knee sleeves for the lunges.  You'll be less likely to think about banging your knees up during them. 
  • Hand care!  If you shave, pumice stone, file, grind, or bite your calluses (ewww!) make sure you get that done before you tackle this.  Especially if you think you might do it twice.  The thinner your calluses are, the less likely they are to rip off.
  •  Also consider some hand care for afterwards...
    • If you're used to grips, this would be a great time to wear them!  If you aren't, I don't think I would try them for the first time.  You might be ripping them off mid workout like Rory did.  They are a good tool in the future, though!

    • Definitely don't need lifters on this one.  Unless you like ankle weights.  Then you might as well wear a weighted vest too!  Rx+! 
    • The biggest thing to warm up for this is your lats and grip.  I, personally, will do light rowing.  Then some dynamic stretching for the forearm flexors (this means I don't hold the stretch, I just move in and out of it).  And I'll use some voodoo/compression floss on my forearms and elbows.  Here's a nice video explaining how to use them.  And if you want to take time to loosen up your forearms the day before, this one is even better by Smashwerx. 

    Honestly, this workout comes down to who is good at bar muscle-ups.  Most people will get to them in a comparable amount of time and then separate themselves from there.  If your hands hold up, it's also an easily repeatable workout, hopefully not due to a 2 day extension either!  The best part is you may not be able to hold your beer without fear of dropping it after this, but you most likely won't feel like death like last week!  

    Good luck guys and tag me @talaynaf #TipsFromTalayna if this helped you!


    SIX Healthy Shamrock Shake Recipes 0

    According to McDonald's, it's "the shake that started it all" (ok, I'm feeling nostalgic.)  "Creamy, dreamy vanilla soft serve..." (I'm starting to salivate,) "...blended with Shamrock Shake syrup" (huh?)

    What the heck is Shamrock Shake Syrup?  Trust me, you don't want to know.

    While the idea of a Shamrock Shake may bring a smile to my face, the number of ingredients (54!) including additives and thickeners makes me cringe - and that's before I notice the calorie count and the fact that there are 13 ingredients listed in the cherry (the Cherry!) alone. 

    Anyone know how many burpees will burn off the 820 calories in just one large Shamrock Shake?

    And possibly the worst culprit, Carrageenan, is not even listed on the graphic above!  BambooCore says we should RUN away from the Golden Arches and their Shamrock Shake (they explain why here) but if you're still craving that sweet minty goodness around St. Patrick's Day, you're not alone.

    Here are Six Protein-Packed Healthy "Shamrock Shake" Recipes to help you avoid the drive-thru, quench your mint-loving thirst and FUEL your body for the 2017 Open, instead of POISON it (allegedly)!

    Throw the ingredients in a blend and Enjoy!  We suggest using vanilla protein power from Stronger, Faster, Healthier (SFH Pure), found on  It's Non-GMO, Gluten Free with NO Soy Lecithin, Artificial Flavors, Hormones or Antibiotics.  


     1. From PancakeWarriors, it's Vegan, it's Low Fat and it's Green (thanks to *actual greens!)


    • ½ cup frozen spinach
    • ¼ banana, frozen
    • 1 tbs. raw cashew pieces
    • 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
    • 1 scoop vegan vanilla protein powder
    • 1 medjool date
    • ½ tsp. peppermint extract
    • 1 tsp. chia seeds


    2. Paleo fans are pumped about the 40 grams of protein in this Protein World recipe.


    • 40g protein powder
    • 300ml water or nut based milk
    • 3 tbs low fat yogurt
    • a handful of pistachios
    • a handful of spinach
    • a few drops of peppermint extract or a couple of fresh mint leaves
    • Ice cubes


    3. No guilt here for Calorie Counters, thanks to this 77 calorie knock off from SimplyTaralynn.

    Here's how 16 oz of each version stacks up:


    • 1 scoop of vanilla protein powder
    • 1/2 tsp dried mint
    • 1 1/2 cups ice
    • 1 cup ice cold water
    • 1 tsp vanilla
    • 1 packet of Truvia (or sweetener of your choice)


    4. Not afraid of raw egg whites?  Get Festive pre or post workout with help from



    • 1 kiwi, peeled
    • 1 handful of organic spinach
    • 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
    • 3 Tbsp liquid egg whites
    • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
    • 1 Tbsp honey or your sweetener of choice
    • 2 scoops of vanilla protein


    5. DashingDish adds thickness with Low Fat Cottage Cheese instead of chemicals.


    • 1/2 cup low fat cottage cheese
    • 1/4 cup vanilla or plain protein powder
    • 1/8 tsp mint extract
    • 2-3 packets Stevia (or sweetener of choice)
    • 5-10 ice cubes
    • 4 oz water (alter amount according to desired thickness of shake)
    • handful of spinach to make it green!


    6. "Good Fats" and good taste from Avocado in this Core-Conditioning Healthy Shamrock Shake recipe.


    • 3/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or coconut milk)
    • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
    • 1-2 big handfuls of spinach 
    • 1/2 avocado
    • 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
    • 1-2 tsp Stevia, to taste
    • 1/4 tsp peppermint extract
    • Add ice cubes and water for desired consistency


    You WOD It, We GOT It!  Get Stronger, Faster, Healthier (SFH Pure) Protein Powder and all your workout gear on



    17.1 Tips and Strategy from Talayna Fortunato

    17.1 Tips and Strategy from Talayna Fortunato 4

    Hi guys and welcome to the 2017 Open! As usual the Dave Castro has started off with a heck of a painful one!

    That said, there are two things to consider in this workout to improve your score.  How you perform the movements and pacing.  You don't really need to think about how you're going to break them up because if you're pacing correctly you shouldn't have to.  Except maybe later on, on the dumbbells, we'll talk about that.  Let's get started on the movement strategies first, shall we?

    The dumbbell snatch

    • You are allowed to transition the dumbbell at any point during the movement.  Doing it at the top seems rather dangerous, especially when you're tired so I'd say that one is out!  Some may want to switch on the way down.  If you've practiced this, it can be faster.  There are, however, two negatives to this gain in speed: most people aren't able to handle the increased cardiovascular tempo gained anyway and decelerating the weight enough to switch hands, places an additional eccentric load on your already pissed off posterior chain.  Do that for 150 reps and it adds up quick!  I, myself, am going to transition at the bottom. 
    • During the transition at the bottom, have your other hand close by, ready to grab and go.  Some people like to balance themselves with the other hand floating off in space, but then it takes time to get it back down and grab again, so don't! 
    • Most people are accustomed and conditioned to cycling barbells and pulling from the rig with a pronated or overhand grip.  I suggest using this on the dumbbell as well, but try it the other way too and see what is more comfortable for you.  I'm going overhand.  This means the dumbbell will go from left to right on the ground under you and not front to back. This girl would be crushed during the open, but this is what I mean...
    • She would also get a no rep because her arm is on her leg.  Obviously, she didn't read the standards!
    • Think of this like a real snatch and keep it close to your body on the way up and the way down.  No swinging it out in front, that's too inefficient.
    • If your shoulders start to fatigue, dip under by bending your knees to catch the dumbbell over head similar to a push jerk vs. a push press.
    • Finally, you don't have to pin the thing by your ear, you just have to have extended hips, knees, and arm overhead with the dumbbell over the center of your body.  If you lean a little to the side, it's actually easier to keep it over the center of your body and it's less taxing! You're welcome ;) 

    The burpee box jump over

    • Sam Briggs may be the only person I know who can jump her feet together from the bottom of the burpee and then onto the box for this entire workout.  The rest of us humans will be way better off metabolically to step up from the burpee and then jump! 
    • The style over the box you use will dictate which muscle groups are going to fatigue.  If you stand all the way up, your back may get tired.  If you stay down in a squat, it will be your legs.  Play around with both styles and don't be afraid to switch them during the workout if one area is getting too fatigued.  
    • Don't waste time getting down to the ground off the box.  Gravity will assist you, I promise.  
    • It's actually the easiest part of the workout so don't dilly dally taking four or five steps to turn around.  Unless you're doing it for the pain face effect to show your peers how close to dying you are.  Then, by all means, look confused as hell as to where the box went every time and shuffle turning around! 


    • There are twice as many dumbbell snatches in this workout as burpees box jump overs, and much larger sets of them at the end.  The burpee box jump over is actually two movements too (I'd argue the workout is a triplet, but whatever!)  This gives your body a little more time to flush from arms back to legs again.  Hence, most of your pacing should be on the dumbbell.  
    • You can slow the snatch tempo down, but I wouldn't slow the transition in the bottom from hand to hand down too too much.  If you find yourself pausing too long at the bottom, you may want to start doing them in sets.  An isometric hold bent over or squatting down hovering over a dumbbell trying to catch your breath is not how you want to rest!  If you need a break, stand up or assume the hand on knees (gimme a second) and then go back into another set with quicker transitions in the bottom.  You won't look this happy though...

    Potential issues

    • The biggest issue I can see here is people's backs blowing up.  The first instinct on the dumbbell is to hinge at the hips and use you back to pick it up.  If you're not prone to having your back lock up this may be fine, but if you are, you may want to consider starting the workout with more of a squat to get the dumbbell. This way, if the legs start to get too tired you can shift to more of a hip hinge and use your back later on.  Where as if you start back dominant and your back starts to tighten up, you will be using it on the burpees as well and there isn't really a place to hide.  It's also much easier to finish a workout with a leg pump than a back pump!  
    • Another word of caution I have to throw in as a P.T.  Do your best to maintain spinal integrity and avoid the Hunchback of Notre Dame snatching.  We want our back, especially the lower back, to remain erect throughout the movement.  

    Odds and Ends

    • I would put the dumbbell to the side of your box, not at the end of your burpees like they did in the demo.  Every time you finish 15 burpees box jumo over, you have to walk all the way back to the far end of your workout area instead of to the side of your box again.  Those few steps over 5 transitions could be about 15-30sec. on your score, depending how confused you manage to look about the whole thing as mentioned earlier.  Wait what?
    • Tape your thumbs!  Especially if you hook grip, which everyone should do to most things they grip in daily life anyways. 
    • If you sweat a lot, wear some wrist bands or wrist wraps.  
    • The last thing you want is the dumbbell slipping out of your hands or stopping to look for chalk.  For me, it's just the feeling of the dumbbell getting slippery that's distracting.
    • Warm up well!  You want to get blood flowing to your back, hamstrings, and quads especially!  You also want to get a little lactic acid built up and then flushed during the warm up with some short sprint type stuff.  Think 20 sec. hard on the rower, with a full recovery a few rounds.  Then run through the movements (short sets) at a quicker pace than you plan on going, as well.  Just remember to dial it back at 3 2 1... Go.   

    Oh yes, I almost forget the promotional pump.  If you even consider wearing lifters, smack your own self upside the head - that's a bad idea.  Wear your favorite Nano's!  Mine are the 6's.  And no one good wears Nike anyway.  Except for that guy who won last year because Rich was busy doing team again.  

    Ok, so maybe he was kind of good, but he was wearing Reeboks at the Games, just saying...

    I hope all of my tips help and everyone does their absolute best this week!  It's a long open, but it will be over before you know it so enjoy the time with your fitness community and have no regrets about your efforts!  Until next week friends! 

    What’s Hiding in Your Chalk Bucket?

    What’s Hiding in Your Chalk Bucket? 0

    Spider Chalk Liquid ChalkThere's an entire industry built on half-truths and it's affecting your performance. One of the most important aspects of your training--your grip--depends on chalk. But what if you discovered that the chalk you've been using to enhance your grip was full of cheap fillers that decreased friction during a workout? Would you be surprised? Would you now be interested in trying real, uncut, pure chalk for the first time?

    Not all chalk is created equal. In fact, almost all chalk includes impurities that lower the friction of your grip but make the chalk cheaper to buy. In the chalk industry, there are grades of chalk based on levels of purity. Most likely, you've been using a very low grade and didn't even know it. 

    Magnesium carbonate comes from limestone. Once extracted from large limestone slabs, laboratories refine magnesium carbonate and grind it into a powder. The amount of impurities in magnesium carbonate determines its grade--the less impurities, the higher the grade. For some people, a lower grade of chalk works. But for athletes who depend on increasing friction to create a stronger grip, higher-grade chalk makes a huge difference. Furthermore, better chalk lasts longer and stays drier.

    When Spider Chalk was created, a search began for a better chalk. We quickly discovered that chalk brands import their chalk from countries requiring little or no testing and regulation. In short, this allows overseas manufacturers to claim 100% pure magnesium carbonate on their products without offering any proof. In order for these manufacturers to lower the cost of their product, they use a lower-grade chalk but continue to claim 100% purity. A simple lab test can substantiate these claims.

    Spider Chalk has been lab-tested and confirmed to contain a high-level of purity. But results are far more important than all the testing and data. Significant real-world testing of various grades of chalk by athletes in competition environments revealed that higher-grade chalk does make a difference. Athletes unanimously agree that Spider Chalk is far superior to other chalk brands they've tried. Use less chalk less often with better friction--that's what we've created!

    The first time you open the powdered Spider Chalk you will notice the difference immediately of what a high-grade pure chalk feels like on your hands compared to the chalk blocks you have been using during your workouts. Not only will the Spider Chalk powder enhance your grip but it also won't over dry your skin. 

    Liquid Spider Chalk is available in 2 different formulas. The original liquid Spider Chalk is pure, lab-tested magnesium carbonate, formulated to keep your hands drier longer, is antibacterial and creates no mess on clothes or gym equipment. Like the original Spider Chalk, Black Widow uses laboratory-grade magnesium carbonate, the driest chalk on the planet but also includes 2 bonding agents combined with a unique imported rosin that keeps the liquid chalk on your hand regardless of sweat or friction. An excellent choice for sweaty, long CrossFit workouts.

    Spider Chalk powder is available either an 8oz or a 12oz re-sealable bag allowing you to keep it in your workout bag. Spider Chalk liquid is available in a 2oz and an 8oz size bottle and the Black Widow Liquid is available in a 4oz bottle. 

    It’s time to ditch the inferior messy chalk blocks hiding in those paint buckets and upgrade to the purest chalk on the planet. Your grip will thank you!

    Listen to what this guy has to say about Spider Chalk!


    Spider Chalk Shop Now

    • Bridgett Chandley

    2016 CrossFit Open Strategy and Tips for 16.5 2

    2016 16.6 Crossfit Open Strategy and tips

    Alright kids... so I decided to do this one on Thursday night again. Mostly because I'm on the cusp of getting into the fast heat at Regionals and I wanted the chance to redo if necessary. After it was announced I realized I REALLY don't want to redo it so I really tried to go hard, but I will if I have to dammit. It was actually worse than I remember it being. I'm just glad it wasn't 15.5. I've never done that one and don't really ever plan on it! Now onto what you guys can do to improve on your scores from 2 years ago, and brag about how much fitter you are to all of your friends!

    Things to consider:

    • This workout will be over 10 minutes for 99% of people. That ain't Fran! That's double or triple Fran, so pace accordingly. Meaning... thrusters will be unbroken but still not at Fran pace for the more elite, and broken appropriately for 99% of other people. If you know you aren't elite, do not do all 21 unbroken to start! Unless you like running head first into a wall of hurt. Consider 11/10 or 8/7/6.
    • Breaking reps should be done on thrusters, NOT BURPEES. Burpees can be slowed, but if you stop and stand there you're a ______ (insert self loathing). If you're breaking burpees you overextended and went too fast early on. (*Note if you are new to CrossFit the self loathing need not apply. I remember the first time I did 50 burpees in a row and I thought it would never end!)
    • When you do take momentary rests on thrusters, but you're not ready to break yet, rest with the bar overhead. Resting in the front rack cuts off your airway and is considerably harder!
    • Don't try to short your range of motion on the thrusters by stopping just below parallel. Go ahead and use the stretch shortening reflex to bounce out of the bottom. It adds a very minimal amount of time and will save your legs for later on.
    • This may be getting too technical, but consider widening your grip on thrusters and/or unwrapping your thumbs to get your elbows higher and save your shoulders and triceps. This workout will definitely tax them.
    • Keep your heart rate down on burpees by stepping in and out of them. Jumping your feet right to your hands and then jumping over will spike your heart rate quicker.
    • Also turn slightly during the jump over instead of a full 180 upon landing.

    And that's about all's I got! It's a muscle endurance and aerobic testing workout. It's also a gut check so you're going to have to dig deep. The 15's and 12's are the worst rounds and then you can see a light at the end of the tunnel as you hit the single digits. Make me proud kids!



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    2016 CrossFit Open Strategy and Tips for 16.4

    2016 CrossFit Open Strategy and Tips for 16.4 5

    2016 CrossFit Open Strategy and Tips for 16.4

    So we're getting close to the end of the Open now and we knew there'd have to be a chipper coming at some point. Well here it is! Remember these girls did it at altitude too! I got to do that once in 2013 and it was terrible! This workout is somewhat like the chipper from 2 years ago that ended in muscle-ups in that there's a lot of work on the front end but the crux, aka what really matters, is the gymnastics at the end. 

    Not many people will get hung up on deadlifts or wall balls with significant rest periods or staring at the bar/ball, and they better not need to break the row. The HSPU on the other hand may have more wall staring contests going it. They can get to small sets and even singles quickly, making them the separator. 

    Thoughts on each movement:


    • Warm up the posterior chain well. 
    • The first rep is always the hardest, so try to do as few sets as possible. This doesn't mean do a set of 20, then all 3s. Be smart about it and honest about your capabilities. 
    • Stay tight on the descent and use the energy of the ground and stretch reflex to help you back up. 
    • Use a mixed grip if you don't already. 

    Wall Balls

    • You'll probably feel like a baby deer here at first but it will pass just get your bearings and settle in. 
    • Again larger sets are best, but if you know you're going to end up with sets of 10 or less than best to start with them and take very short breaks. 
    • Stand far enough from the wall that you aren't getting hit with the ball or air balling. 


    • Not a lot to say here. It's more of your recovery period but you still want to get thru it in a reasonable time so no sandbagging! 
    • Set the damper slightly lower than when you're rowing for meters. The fly wheel will spin easier and get more calories between strokes. (I think it's science or something).


    • Get straight to the wall and start. This workout goes pull push pull push. You may be tired but not in the muscle group that's coming next, so you should be able to start right into the reps even if you don't think so at first. 
    • Once your first set starts to slow, it's time to come down. No going to failure! The sets should be speedy with slight breaks. No resting in a handstand. That's wasted energy. 
    • Kip! If you don't know how learn! If you do know how be sure to use your hips. This means no short kipping with just a knee bend. Let your hips curl off the wall so your low back touches and you have a better loading mechanism to explode up with. 

    You should really only need a belt for this workout. Maybe tape on your thumbs and the wall! Make sure you understand where to place the tape line too. I think this one will be a climatic one at the end. Get ready to cheer on HSPUs, and after this we only have one more workout to celebrate all this fitness with during the 2016 Open, so embrace your opportunity. Some would love to have it! 

    2016 CrossFit Open Strategy and Tips for 16.3 0

    Talayna's Tips and Strategy 2016 Crossfit Games Open 16.3Hi guys!

    So another surprise in the 2016 CrossFit Games Open with a new movement introduced... the bar muscle-up. Who saw that coming? I honestly thought we might, but wrestled with it just because some gyms don't have single rails. That said if yours doesn't start making friends! 

    Thoughts on this workout:

    Lots of upper body pulling and pushing. Make sure you get some good flow to both muscle groups (including forearms) in your warm up! Not necessarily by doing a bunch of bar muscle-ups, but easier things like push ups and rowing and then hit the movements a "little" before the workout. 

    • For most people the workout will be bar muscle-up limited, so you will want to pace the snatches enough to start right into them when you drop the barbell. i.e. no standing and staring at the pull-up bar recovering because you felt like you had to go unbroken. Most people will need to break the snatches early on in order to pace them correctly. I usually like picking descending numbers because it helps mentally. So start with 6/4, then 4/3/3, etc. you get me. 
    • The guys tonight were muscle snatching. If you have a beast of an upper body along with great muscle endurance that's cool. Most humans however will want to think about using their hips a bit more and catching with a slight knee bend.
    • Thumbs! Grip will definitely be taxed by this workout so use your strongest digit... your thumb! You want to hook grip the barbell and put your thumbs around the pull-up bar as well. Not to mention it's safer and you'll be less likely to end up in some video flying off the bar that goes viral this weekend! Also think about relaxing your grip at the top of the bar muscle-up and snatch just to give it a rest. 
    • The second bar muscle-up is always easier so try to keep them strung together. If you rest between reps rest on top of the bar.
    • This workout has a LOT of transitions so the more time you can limit there the better! i.e. bars close together, chalk (if needed) super accessible, and for gosh sakes don't walk around when it starts to hurt. People always do this. Where are they going? You can't leave, you're in this, so might as well stay where you are! Ok rant over, next...
    • Hand protection! This may get to be a lot of bar muscle-ups. Think about taping your hands or using protective grips for this one. Unless you like the sting of shampoo on raw skin!
    • This is not a sprint, but it's not 16.1 either. Output should be high the whole time, but not 100%, more like 90ish. Think of it as running a 800m. For the elite think triple Fran. Now that just sounds awful! 

    This looks like a fun one. I'm doing it Saturday instead of Thursday this time. One and done seems to be better for me than trying to repeat them. I have a better strategy the second go round, but not enough in the tank again to execute it. Such is life! So now that ya'll have your strategies ready, go forth and dominate 16.3!


    You may not be able to get this product in time for 16.3 but the NEW GRIPPER is perfect when extra grip is needed. Keep them in your BAG for bars, ropes, rings, & kettle bells. Check them out!